Hi, welcome to our pharmacology series.
Now in this one, I'm gonna address a pretty serious topic.
We're going to talk about depression.
And I know, based on my past experience that somebody out there right now
is dealing with depression when you're watching this video.
So I just want to encourage you.
Wow, you are not alone nor are you weak-minded.
So as we walk through this, if this is something you're experiencing,
I would encourage you to take a look at what the next steps are for you
and if you're not experiencing this, remember that many of the patients
that we interact with are experiencing depression.
Chronic illness and depression seem to have a pretty strong correlation
so I want you to recognize what the clinical features are of depression.
Now, I got a taste of what depression is like when I lost my father
and what it felt like when I wanted to act differently,
I wanted to get things done, and I just found it so hard to do it so it gave me an idea
of what some people deal with for years and years.
So let me talk to you about what it feels like to just experience this as a patient.
I just had it for a short period of time but I want you to be open to starting conversations
with your patients where they feel safe enough to talk to you about these feelings.
Now, we call it depression but it's a sad or depressed mood.
But they've lost pleasure or interest in things they normally like to do.
Now I know during my experience, the things that I used to like to do, to read, to study,
I just didn't really have the energy to do it. I really struggled with sleeping.
I couldn't sleep so I had the insomnia. Some people have hypersomnia.
It means that's all they wanna do is just sleep.
Now, you can understand if you're having -- struggling with some strong and intense feelings,
sleep can feel like an escape so that's another reason why insomnia can be so difficult
because people would desperately want that escape and can't seem to get it.
Now, they might not be able to fall asleep or even if once they fall asleep,
it's only a short period of time and then they're up at 2 or 3 o'clock in the morning
and can't go back to sleep. So insomnia takes all different kinds of shapes.
Now it usually impacts eating.
It could be they don't want to eat anything or sometimes they over eat or binge eat in depression.
That's when I knew it was very different for me because usually I'm an emotional eater
and when I found myself completely not interested in food,
I knew that was a sign that something was very different in my mind.
So there's also a mental slowing and a loss of concentration.
This one was particularly scary for me.
Now, my period was attached to extreme loss.
I've lost my father who is precious to me and who I adored and I knew that he adored me
but I needed to get back to work after we had made all the arrangements
and taking care of all the things that needed to be done and plan the service
and we made it through all that.
And then when I needed to get back to work
and there were things I needed to have high output, I just didn't have it.
My mind was not there, my brain could not work like it normally did.
So I definitely know what that mental slowing feels like and loss of concentration, I couldn't stay focused.
Now, on good days, I have ADD anyway and if you make me sit still for too long
or if you make me sit through meetings, students think nursing school is difficult
but man, you should try to go to a faculty meeting sometimes.
They can be the definition of hard to stay focused.
But in this, when I would sit down to do a high cognitive thing, prepare lectures for students,
prepare content, write, study for my own school, I just couldn't make myself do it.
It was really difficult. Then I started to feel really down like, I should be able to pull this together.
You know, this is a part of life, people have loss, but I really struggled with moving forward.
Then I felt guilty and shame when I couldn't get accomplished
and I felt like man, I'm never gonna get this.
I'm never gonna get things done and I felt like things were completely out of my control.
Now, I haven't struggled with this, thoughts of death and suicide
and I haven't had suicidal behavior but I hold no judgement for people that do
because just my taste of what this felt like, after trying to walk through the loss of my father,
I can understand and empathize that while I don't know what it would be like to have
this down period for years and years and years,
I do understand why someone would want it to stop.
What it would feel like wow, if there's just none an end to this, so I empathize
and it has made me even more passionate to have calm open conversations with people,
to check in and see how they're doing, and particularly with my patients.
When I know that they're dealing with difficult things,
I'll also -- I will also open those conversations with my students
because life does not stop when you're in nursing school.
It keeps rolling along and you guys face really hard things during nursing school.
So don't be afraid to ask for help.
Now, in order to really be a diagnosis of depression,
the symptoms have to be present most of the day, nearly every day for at least 2 weeks.
That's how you know you're not just going through a mood.
This may be something that's gonna need some additional strategies or interventions to try
and help you move through this period and that's what our goal is.
But if you take anything away from this video series,
I hope you know that a lot more people struggle with this than you realize
but find someone that you trust.
Find someone that you can talk to and that you can be open with
and you know, seek out resources in your school.
A lot of universities and programs have counselors right on site.
They're included in your tuition so I encourage you not to deal with this by yourself
but to reach out and find help.
And for those of you that aren't dealing with this, be on the lookout for this with your patients.
They're gonna be able to progress, take good steps,
and make better choices towards health if they're not also dealing with the depression.